A mole that changes color? A brown spot that appears to be growing larger each day. You might find yourself in a Google or WebMD rabbithole wondering what these symptoms are. It is time to book an appointment with your dermatologist. Dr. Dr. Kristina Goldberg, a New York-based dermatologist explains that skin cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer. About half of Americans will develop some form of non-melanoma, skin cancer before they reach 65.
Regular skin checks are the best way to prevent skin cancer from developing. However, it is important to conduct a self-check every so often. Dermatologists discuss the warning signs and indicators that warrant extra attention.
1. Moles that are subject to change over time
DermatologistDr. Sharyn A.Laughlin, MDThis article explains how to spot melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. These are the key mole changes to remember (but don’t worry, it is easy).ABCDE).
ASymmetry: Pay attention to when a mole, lesion, or border becomes blurred or goes from a circle to a jagged. BOrder: Does it appear uneven or does it look like it’s a blob with pigment that’s coming off the edge? CVariations in Color: If the color of a mole or lesion is not consistent. Diameter: A measurement that measures the size or diameter of an object larger than a pencil eraser. This doesn’t seem to matter, Dr. Laughlin says. A small lesion could be benign or sinister. EVolving: If the lesion continues changing in size, color, or shape. Dr. Laughlin suggests that you make a note of any moles that have changed in order to book an appointment with your dermatologist. It is best to detect any form of skin cancer early, particularly melanoma.
2. 2. A spot that changes colors
Dr. Laughlin recommends that you have your freckles checked if it has changed from a brownish color to a purple. It could be skin cancer but it could also be a variety of other problems. It can take on a variety of forms, including melanoma. This is often seen in melanoma. However, it could also be an indication of other skin conditions. “The physician will be able to determine the exact color change.” She added that lesions can become red, purple or brown and pink, and each will indicate a possible different diagnosis.
Are you unsure if a spot should be considered a concern? Dr. Laughlin recommends keeping a record of suspicious spots every week. Take weekly photos using your phone and show them to your dermatologist at the next appointment.
3. On sun-exposed areas, pinkish spots
Basal cell carcinoma is a common form of skin cancer. It can first appear by changing your colors. Laughlin says that basal cell carcinoma is characterized by a slow-growing, pinkish or pearly lesion. It can bleed, scab or bleed. It can be asymptomatic and often occurs in sun-exposed areas.
4. Glass-like sore with a crusty crust
Squamous cell carcinoma is another form of skin cancer. It is caused by abnormal growth of squamous cells. Actinic Keratosis, which is a sun-damaged lesion that can cause squamous cell carcinoma, can also be responsible. Dr. Laughlin describes them as pink scaly patches that form around sun-exposed regions. Squamous cell carcinoma is often described as a “piece of glass” or “sliver” by patients. “If you feel any sensitivity, it could be a sign that something is wrong.” She also suggests that you book an appointment as soon as possible if the lesion becomes painful. What is the reason? Laughlin states that pain could be a sign of the body’s downward growth into the dermis.
A dermatologist will recommend that you let the area develop for a few months to see if it changes. If necessary, they will dig further if needed. She explains that if a dermatologist is concerned about a lesion, they will usually biopsy it and consult a pathologist to confirm whether it is benign or serious.
5. 5. A spot that bleeds
Although Dr. Laughlin believes that a bleeding spot can be cancerous, an irritated region could also indicate other conditions. These are pyogenicgranulomas. They can be treated with lasers. Dr. Laughlin suggests the same wait-and watch approach for this reason, since changes over time are the best indicator of cancer. She adds that excessive bleeding should not be a problem if it is occurring regularly instead of just occasionally. It’s advisable to see a dermatologist immediately.
6. 6. It is important to consider the areas of your body most likely to get skin cancer. Dr. Laughlin explains that 60-80% of pre-cancers and all types skin cancers are found in the areas that receive the most sun exposure. These areas can vary depending on your lifestyle, occupation, and sun protection habits. However, they are most common on the bald scalp, ears, or face with a greater concentration of the nose.
You can also apply sunscreen by keeping track of freckles, bumps, and spots. This will allow you to notice if anything is unusual or outlandish.
How to protect yourself
Dr. Laughlin says there are two ways you can protect yourself against skin cancer. First, it is important to have regular skin checks by a dermatologist and second, to use sunscreen to shield your skin from any harmful rays.
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